Index of content:
Volume 125, Issue 3, March 2009
- NOISE: ITS EFFECTS AND CONTROL 
Verifying the attenuation of earplugs in situ: Method validation on human subjects including individualized numerical simulations125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3075603View Description Hide Description
The microphone in real ear (MIRE) protocol allows the assessment of hearing protector’s (HPD) attenuation in situ by measuring the difference between the sound pressure outside and inside the ear canal behind the HPD. Custom-made earplugs have been designed with an inner bore to insert the MIRE probe containing two microphones, the reference microphone measuring the sound pressure outside and the measurement microphone registering the sound pressure behind the HPD. Previous research on a head and torso simulator reveals a distinct difference, henceforth called transfer function, between the sound pressure at the MIRE measurement microphone and the sound pressure of interest at the eardrum. In the current study, similar measurements are carried out on humans with an extra microphone to measure the sound pressure at the eardrum. The resulting transfer functions confirm the global frequency dependency found earlier, but also show substantial variability between the ears with respect to the exact frequency and amplitude of the transfer functions’ extrema. In addition, finite-difference time-domain numerical models of an ear canal with earplug are developed for each individual ear by including its specific geometrical parameters. This approach leads to a good resemblance between the simulations and their corresponding measurements.
125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3076929View Description Hide Description
A method is developed to obtain the normal incidence sound transmission loss of noise control elements used in piping systems from upstream surface impedance measurements only. The noise control element may be a small material specimen in an impedance tube, a sealing part in an automotive hollow body network, an expansion chamber, a resonator, or a muffler. The developments are based on a transfer matrix (four-pole) representation of the noise control element and on the assumption that only plane waves propagate upstream and downstream the element. No assumptions are made on its boundary conditions, dimensions, shape, and material properties (i.e., the element may be symmetrical or not along its thickness, homogeneous or not, isotropic or not). One-load and two-load procedures are also proposed to identify the transfer matrix coefficients needed to obtain the true transmission loss of the tested element. The method can be used with a classical two-microphone impedance tube setup (i.e., no additional downstream tube and downstream acoustical measurements). The method is tested on three different noise control elements: two impedance tube multilayered specimens and one expansion chamber. The results found using the developed method are validated using numerical simulations.